I briefly lived in Egypt in the fall/winter of 2009. I went through a wide range of emotions while living there: from loving my daily life of going to the market, living by the ocean, and seeing a vibrant everyday life around me, to hating going out in public and being so obviously foreign, followed home, called at, at continuously ripped off. It was one of the more life changing things that I have ever done, in a good way, and throughout it all, the hospitality and the warmth of the people is one of the things I look back on with the best memories. Get into a small conversation with a shopkeeper, and you had a dinner invite to meet an entire family. I had a Scottish friend who got to know a bus driver who was around 20 years old, who would take us places and refuse payment. We were invited to his parents house where we were able to meet his whole family over tea and guava juice. This wasn’t the only occasion someone went out of their way to show us the goodness of the Egyptian people, and those moments far outweigh the number of times I felt scammed or tired of being in the country.
Egypt is currently undergoing a revolution. Thinking back to my time there, I worry for the people I met who I still keep in touch with, and the ones like the bus driver who I don’t know anymore. The internet has been shut off as of last night, along with a lot of phone service, including text messaging. It appears the government is trying to stop the organization of rallies and protests towards a governmental upheaval.
With people as good as the ones I met, this country really deserves a revolution. Keep fighting, Egypt.